Nicola Ratti – 220 TONES

Die Schachtel

A somewhat “Basinski-in-flip-flops” foreword, “Air Resistance”, launches this 36-minute CD by Nicola Ratti, in which analogue synthetizers [sic], strings and organs make their way meekly among skipping LPs, low-budget electronic minimalism and vaguely in-sync Muslimgauze-ish pulses (“Untitled #2″ is pretty scandalous in that respect). Everything is genially evanescent and woefully lacking in artistic depth. The Italians seem to have found a goldmine of sickening benevolence for this sort of parent-approved experimentalism populated by well-connected dabblers and incompetent cosmic howlers. It’s a typical Die Schachtel problem, this continuous swinging of the pendulum from meaningful projects (the Gruppo box set, the recent Corner / Zurria, masterpieces by 7k Oaks and Stephan Mathieu) to the hyping of second division stuff, including manufactured cult figures (Luciano Cilio, Teresa Rampazzi..) and outright hoaxes such as Catherine Christer Hennix’s The Electric Harpsichord. Ratti’s work is clearly the fruit of hours of studio toil and no problem at all to listen to, but the world is already inundated by substandard music and things like 220 Tones should stay put on the hard disk.

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